Letter: Water leaks unacceptable in face of punitive restrictions

With regard to the water issues we are faced with in our metro as well as the front-page article “Cut water usage or else, metro warned” (November 17).

First we were faced with ever-increasing electricity rates, and load-shedding . . . And I’m sure many would have much to say about that scenario.

Now residents are faced with increased rates for water usage and the possibility of “watershedding”. As stated in the article, Eastern Cape Water and Sanitation head Portia Makhanya has threatened legal action against the metro and, according to the article, “she told the municipality to implement punitive water restrictions, which means residents would be charged higher rates, or penalties, for exceeding their daily limit”. And the article goes on to quote metro councillor Annette Lovemore as saying: “What is very worrying is the threat to throttle valves, which means water-shedding.”

I am completely understanding of the need for water conservation, and agree that all of us should at all times take care in our water consumption. However, what leaves me frustrated and stirs me up to boiling point is the fact that even with all these issues being brought to the fore, as well as the seriously low water levels at the dams, we still see water leaks all over the metro!

I myself drove past a leak last Friday, only to return to that same area this Monday, and the water was still streaming all over the road, and on passing the same point at the end of the day the water was still leaking, and no workmen or sign of any action being taken in sight.

I have also noticed on social media countless people mentioning water leaks that are just left to continue for days on end, even after they have reported it.

How can the residents be held accountable and now be expected to compensate for this loss of water by being charged for overuse? It seriously begs the question, and I certainly want answers, who is being held accountable for all the wasted water streaming from leaks not fixed? Who is paying for all THAT lost water?

It would seem to me that as well as paying our taxes we are now expected to foot the municipality’s own bills also! I suggest, and even challenge, that going forward people take action by taking photos of the leaks, report them and make a record of the time and date that you have reported it as well as the name of the person you spoke to.

The Metro Customer Care number for reporting is 0800-205-050. They answered my call promptly, and were helpful and friendly, so there is no reason not to make the call.

If no action is taken in good time then call them again, if there is still no action then make it public, through social media, or write a letter to the newspaper and include the details and photos etc.

If it’s not out there, then it’s easy for them to brush it under the carpet and not resolve the problem. Don’t take it for granted that someone has reported it already, and even if they have, so what! Report it anyway, and make a record of the feeble excuses if you so wish (just please keep in mind that this situation is not the fault of the person you are speaking to on the phone, most of them are just trying to do their jobs, and they tell you what they are told to).

I will check up on “my” leak later today and see if there has been anything done about it. If not, I will be sending The Herald another letter and will be posting details on social media and to the NMBM also. Even if they do not allow it to be shared on their page, if everyone is doing the same, it is still getting a message through.

One thought on “Letter: Water leaks unacceptable in face of punitive restrictions

  • November 24, 2016 at 2:34 pm
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    well now the municipality wants to introduce paying more for water. why am I not surprised, this is to be expected, the consumer obviously has lots and lots of money to spend. we have to mow our own verges as the council does not have funds, they want us to read our own meters so they can save by not having to pay some one to do it. what is it going to be next. there is just so much a person can do to save water but if you are already doing it how do you do more. no one can get blood out of a stone.

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